COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Tuesday at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse, the jury in Jason Carter’s first-degree murder trial heard more testimony from Iowa State Patrol Trooper Jon Thorup, several other first responders that were at the scene of Shirley Carter’s death on June 19, 2015, and one family member.
Thorup was one of the law enforcement officers on scene where Shirley Carter was murdered at her home in Lacona, Iowa.
“It was kind of a chaotic scene,” Thorup said.
Jason Carter broke out in tears in court on Tuesday listening to Thorup’s recording from the scene.
In the recording, Jason Carter described his thoughts to Thorup outside the house that day, “And I thought maybe she was having a dizzy spell because she has those and has to lay down.” And Thorup responded, “Okay.” Jason Carter emotionally continued on, “I can’t get her head and face out of my mind. I see the blood and thought maybe she fell and hit her head.”
Curt Seddon, a Melcher-Dallas Fire Department first responder, also took the stand.
He was the first one at the scene where Shirley Carter was found dead and talked about what Jason Carter told him when he arrived.
“He was talking about that somebody ransacked the house. He mentioned that she’d been shot and there are two holes. That statement to me was the point and time when I realized I would be stepping into a crime scene in that kitchen,” Seddon said.
Seddon also knew Jason and the family prior to that day because he was Jason’s college roommate.
The jury also heard from Jason Carter’s sister, Jana Lain.
She talked about the first time she walked into her childhood home where her mom was murdered and saw the pool of blood.
“That was the last place that my mom was, so I put my hand in it. It was dry, but I put my hand across it,” Lain said.
Two days after the murder, Lain said she went to the house to clean. Jason and his wife, Shelly, met her there in the afternoon.
That is when Jason made a statement she will never forget, when he started talking about bullet holes and damage in the kitchen.
“He stood back and he said, ‘Whoever shot mom,’ he stood back toward like where you would walk into the house and he said, ‘Whoever shot mom, was standing right here like this when they shot her,'” Lain said.
Lain also described what happened when the family went to see Shirley’s body immediately after she was brought to the funeral home.
She said, “Jason laid over my mom’s body, completely laid over her body and said, ‘Mom, this wasn’t supposed to happen.'”
Marion County Attorney Ed Bull also called Iowa DCI criminalist Mike Halverson to the stand, and he talked about the crime scene team’s investigation.
Testimony is expected to resume at Pottawattamie County Courthouse Wednesday at 9 a.m.